Lockdown WILL be lifted on Dec 2 but ban on household mixing may be on the cards to save Christmas
LOCKDOWN will be lifted on December 2 but a ban on household mixing may be on the cards to save Christmas, it has been suggested.
Boris Johnson told MPs last night that the national shutdown would end in a last ditch effort to salvage the festive season, but ministers have warned the “hard yards” of the shutdown is unlikely to unlock all of England.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Lockdown WILL end on December 2[/caption]
There could be a ban on household mixing in the Winter[/caption]
Boris Johnson is hoping there can be a special relaxation of measures over Christmas[/caption]
England is expected to be plunged back into a regional lockdown, but it could be even tougher than the three-tiered system in place before the national measures in order to release people for Christmas dinners, sources told Politico.
And PHE directer Dr Susan Hopkins started ringing the warning bells last night that the lowest tier – with a 10pm curfew and the rule of six – was not working and would need to be beefed up.
It could mean even Brits in parts of the country with the lowest infection rates could face up to a household mixing ban after December 2.
Dr Hopkins said: “We see very little effect from Tier 1.
“When we look at what the Tiers may be in the future, we will have to think about strengthening them in order to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone.”
But the PM’s hope is that even stricter regional lockdowns in the the first part of December could push coronavirus cases down far enough that there could be a relaxation of measures over Christmas to save family dinners.
One source said the Government’s scientific advisers were looking at how they could roll out “standalone” measures for a short window over Christmas to let people see their families.
Advisers are trying to hammer out a plan to do this safely without causing a surge in cases – and eventually deaths.
Speaking this morning, the Housing Secretary warned that although lockdown will end, it won’t spell a massive release of other regional measures.
Robert Jenrick told BBC Radio Today: “We’ve always said that it’s our hope and expectation that on December 2, the national measures will come to an end, in fact that’s a matter of law.
“The tiers will reflect the different rates of the virus in different parts of the country, what we do want to see is a very significant easing – that was the purpose of going the hard yards in November.”
But Mr Jenrick warned that although pubs, restaurants and shops will “by and large” be able to open, measures will need to be “stiffer” in some places.
And the Housing Secretary admitted ramped up versions of the local lockdown tiers could bake in a 9pm booze ban.
Most read in News